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12 Most Exotic Dog Breeds

Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Published on
Wednesday 21 July 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
puli dog breed
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We all know the most common breeds of dogs such as the Labrador Retriever or a Dalmation. However, there are a lot of rare dog breeds that aren’t as well-known. Selective breeding gradually separates breeds from one another and creates entirely new breeds. However, some of them were either forgotten by many after breeding or never gained as much popularity as other breeds. Today we are going to look at the most exotic dog breeds and how they came to be.

Just because these breeds are some of the rarest dog breeds does not mean that they do not hold many benefits and that they are not beautiful dogs. So let’s pay more attention to these magnificent breeds and look into their interesting history. Each has unique and useful personal and physical traits to be used as working dogs or simply companions. So let’s dive into these unusual dog breeds.

1. Puli

The Puli is a breed of dog that is known for its mop-like appearance. It is often confused with the Komondor, its larger, similar-looking counterpart. The history of the Puli is often debated but is generally believed to have originated from Asia. Although the specific country and groups are argued. They are a small to medium size breed reaching up to 45cm in height and 15kg in weight.

These dogs are very intelligent and have a huge personality. They are playful, love attention, and adore their families. Their cords require a lot of care to ensure they aren’t dirty and form properly from a young age. Grooming trips will be regular with this magnificent breed and their striking appearance is worth it.

2. Bergamasco Sheepdog

Another breed with magnificent cords, the Bergamasco Sheepdog is rated 187th out of 197 dog breeds registered to the AKC. This breed is believed to have descended from the Briard. However, many argue that the Bergamasco Sheepdog came first and contributed to the Briard’s genetics. You can find a maximum height of 23.5 inches and a maximum weight of 84 pounds for this medium-sized breed.

In personality this breed is a unique combination of sociable, and independent. They love the company of their family but also do well alone. This is why it is important to ensure they have their own space such as a crate. Due to their high intelligence and love of their owners, they are an easily trainable breed.

3. Afghan Hound

A loving and speedy breed, the Afghan Hound has a beautiful long coat and a thin curled tail. This is one of the oldest breeds to exist and easily claims a spot on our most exotic dog breeds list. They are said to originate from Asia, although the exact country may never be known. They can reach up to 27 inches and weigh 60 pounds. So they are a tall but lean breed of dog.

This is a gentle and elegant breed of dog. Their long and recognizable coat requires a lot of grooming to maintain hygiene and keep it knot-free. As for their nature, they are a gentle breed of dog who are very loyal to their owner. They are great for those that want a quiet dog for the household and one who cuddles. Just bear in mind that they do need to expel a lot of energy through walks or play sessions.

4. Swedish Vallhund

This adorable little Swedish dog breed was actually a herding dog before becoming a companion more so in today’s age. It is believed that this older breed helped to create the well-known Corgi either in Wales or Sweden. They have a height of 14 inches and weight of 35 pounds at their largest, but are ultimately a small breed.

On one hand, you have an energetic, lovable, and intelligent little breed. They adore their family, love to play, and adore training. On the other hand, you have a dog that requires a lot of mental stimulation to prevent boredom and can suffer from both anxiety and separation anxiety. Make sure to keep this little breed busy and engaged if you decide to own one. Their grooming needs are not major but they will need monitoring and brushing semi-regularly.

5. Finnish Spitz

The Finnish Spitz was originally a hunting breed created in Finland, it began to specialize in hunting game birds. They arrived in England in the early ’90s and then America in the mid-’90s. Classified as a medium-sized breed as they only reach 20 inches and 33 pounds as their maximum size.

This is a wonderful little breed that is renowned to be friendly to all. They are quite energetic and love to go on walks, hikes, and play. They are also very intelligent and are easy to train. More so, they enjoy training sessions. Due to their high energy levels though you should keep the sessions short and try to do multiple a day. This ginger breed is said to look like a fox and like they are smiling, two traits that draw owners to them.

finnish spitz dog breed
This breed looks almost identical to the Japanese Spitz.

6. Hungarian Mudi

Number 6 on our most exotic dog breeds list is the beautiful Hungarian Mudi. They come in a variety of colors all of which are very breathtaking. They were bred to be a small sheepdog and they were officially recognized as a breed in 1936. At their maximum size, they weigh 29 pounds and reach a total height of 19 inches.

This is a very active dog breed that loves training. They have a high IQ and this enables them to be quick learners as well, which was great during their time of herding. However, as they are so active, you need to make sure that are having regular walks, long play sessions, and lots of toys to keep them engaged. Furthermore, they are a very loyal breed and adore their family. This is also one of the rarest dog breeds on our list with only a few thousand of these dogs left.

7. Catalburun

The Catalburun, also known as the Turkish Pointer, can be identified very easily due to their double noose. The groove in the nose is much deeper than normal presenting what looks like two noses. There is a lot of speculation about the origin of the Turkish Pointer but is mostly agreed that they came from a breed known as the Pachón Navarro which came over from Spain.

This is a very gentle breed of dog. They are of medium size and are a very smart breed. They are also deeply loyal to their owner which can often lead to them being overly protective. Therefore, be sure to have them well socialized when they are young and to make sure they are well trained. As then you can maintain a level of control over their behavior if they appear aggressive. They are also incredibly rare with only 200 individuals around.

8. Borzoi

Often confused for a long-haired Greyhound, the Borzoi is a graceful, hairy breed. They originate from Russia and were used as sighthounds to aid with wolf hunting. These dogs were associated with Russian royalty as these hunting events ended with feasts with extravagant guests. They are a large breed of dog measuring at a height of 31 inches and a weight of 105 pounds and their largest.

They are an affectionate and gentle breed of dog. And even with their capabilities, they are actually considered lazy and sleepy dogs. Therefore they love a good cuddle in bed or on the sofa. However, be aware that as they are sighthounds, they have strong chasing instincts. So be aware of walking them or any small animals you have in the house.

borzoi dog breed
The Borzoi is an exotic dog breed that resembles Afghan hounds.

9. Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli is also known as the Mexican Hairless dog, and as the name suggests, this dog is nearly completely hairless. It is believed that this dog was not initially selectively bred, but resulted as a result of a genetic mutation and that’s when humans intervened. Note that this is a breed that can vary in size from toy, to miniature, to large.

This breed is very calm generally but is also alert to its surroundings. This means they can be a wonderful companion dog, but are also useful for guarding. They are not a guard breed, that is to say they could not be as physically strong as many breeds. But they are very protective and are always listening for anything out of the ordinary.

10. Pachón Navarro

The Pachón Navarro is the other double-nosed dog alongside the Catalburun. It is a form of hunting dog founded in the north of Spain. Debates still exist as to whether they helped create the Catalburun or the other way around and discussions are still fueled today.

This breed is perfect for an owner that wants a loyal dog that can be very obedient. They are quick to train and respect their owners with ease. They can also be playful but gentle with the family, the perfect family dog. Just make sure you can provide moderate levels of exercise to this dog as they need daily walks, play sessions, and enriching toys.

11. Otterhound

This long-haired British breed is a playful loving breed. It is believed that they descended from Bloodhounds although the speculation from their origin still exists. Some believe them to be related to French Griffons. What we can agree on is their origin purpose which was to hunt otters from British rivers.

This is a very affectionate and boisterous breed that love to jump up and greet their owners. They are very friendly to every person and dog they meet and are wonderful companions. With their webbed toes and waterproof coat, they are a very unique dog with a love for swimming. Be sure to provide them a lot of exercise as well as a lot of mental stimulation and enrichment as they are prone to boredom.

12. Azawakh

If you’re interested in a lean, and very affectionate and loyal dog, then take a look at the Azawakh. They are a large-sized dog in height and reach up to 29 inches. They were originally used as hunting and protecting dogs in the Sahel zone and the Sahara. This is where their deep found loyalty has originated from alongside their adoration for humans.

The adoration they possess means they make very loving companions. This is a very affectionate breed who love to care for their owner and family. However, this is arguably the most active dog breed on our list. The exercise requirement we recommend is a minimum of half an hour to 45 minutes but more is always advised if you can.

Any more questions about the most exotic dog breeds? Coming right up!

What is the world’s rarest dog breed?

The world’s rarest dog breed is the Norwegian Lundehund is the rarest breed with it nearly having become extinct. This breed does not make our list though as they are so rare there is currently no chance of owning one unless you are in schemes of rescue.

What are the most endangered dog breeds?

The breed on our list that is the most endangered is the Otterhound, number 11 on our most exotic dog breeds list. With the bloodhound being a popular alternative, the otterhound became more expensive and rare to buy. Furthermore, otter hunting is no longer pursued.

What is the #1 dog breed?

The most popular breed according to the AKC 2019 poll is the Labrador Retriever.

How do you consider a dog to be exotic?

An exotic dog is one who can be kept and owned due to being domesticated, but is not commonly kept. It is also one of which is rare and has smaller numbers.

What is the oldest dog breed?

According to the Guinness World Records the oldest dog breed with proof is the Saluki. However some suspect it to be the Basenji or Chow Chow.

Ensuring that these species have their name known can aid in maintaining and building the numbers of these individuals. The more popularity that is gained the more we can do to help the numbers increase. Each dog on this list holds some wonderful qualities from being a working dog, to a great family dog. So why not research them further to find out more? Let us know your favorite breed on our most exotic dog breeds list in the comments.

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